[ geyp, gap ]
See synonyms for: gapegapedgaping on

verb (used without object),gaped, gap·ing.
  1. to stare with open mouth, as in wonder.

  2. to open the mouth wide involuntarily, as the result of hunger, sleepiness, or absorbed attention.

  1. to open as a gap; split or become open wide.

  1. a wide opening; gap; breach.

  2. an act or instance of gaping.

  1. a stare, as in astonishment or with the mouth wide open.

  2. a yawn.

  3. Zoology. the width of the open mouth.

Origin of gape

1175–1225; Middle English, from Old Norse gapa “to open the mouth wide”; compare German gaffen

synonym study For gape

1. See gaze.

Other words for gape

Other words from gape

  • gap·ing·ly, adverb
  • sub·gape, verb (used without object), sub·gaped, sub·gap·ing.
  • un·gap·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use gape in a sentence

  • He stared at her—'gaped', she told him some time afterwards.

    Trent's Last Case | E.C. (Edmund Clerihew) Bentley
  • The porch of that house was part covered with vines, but they was kind of gaped apart at one corner.

    Danny's Own Story | Don Marquis
  • At last Little Chicken lifted his head, opened his beak, and gaped widely.

    Freckles | Gene Stratton-Porter

British Dictionary definitions for gape


/ (ɡeɪp) /

  1. to stare in wonder or amazement, esp with the mouth open

  2. to open the mouth wide, esp involuntarily, as in yawning or hunger

  1. to be or become wide open: the crater gaped under his feet

  1. the act of gaping

  2. a wide opening; breach

  1. the width of the widely opened mouth of a vertebrate

  2. a stare or expression of astonishment

Origin of gape

C13: from Old Norse gapa; related to Middle Dutch gapen, Danish gabe

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012